Questions tagged [zoology]

The biological study of animals. Very broad use so be sure to add additional clarifying tags

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Does the string "...CATCAT..." appear in the DNA of Felis catus?

In Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (GEB), the following claim appears: ...in the species Felis catus, deep probing has revealed that it is indeed possible to read the ...
skytreader's user avatar
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77 votes
2 answers
6k views

Do animals exhibit handedness (paw-ness?) preference?

I have been observing my cat and found that when confronted with an unknown item, she will always use her front left paw to touch it. This has me wondering if animals exhibit handedness like humans ...
Thomas's user avatar
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76 votes
3 answers
15k views

Why shouldn't dogs eat chocolate?

I was wondering why dogs shouldn't eat chocolate. Can't dogs just excrete the indigestible component in their droppings? It's common knowledge that dogs shouldn't eat chocolate. What I don't know is ...
rockinboy3303's user avatar
73 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why are there no wheeled animals?

In physics, "almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few unimportant holes." (See Jolly.) Therefore, on Physics SE, people are veering off into different directions: ...
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62 votes
3 answers
11k views

Why do smaller mammals move intermittently?

I was watching a nice little video on youtube but couldn't help but notice how snappy smaller animals such as rats and chipmunks move. By snappy I mean how the animal moves in almost discrete states ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
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54 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why do men have nipples?

I'd be tempted to call nipples in men vestigial, but that suggests they have no modern function. They do have a function, of course, but only in women. So why do men (and all male mammals) have them?
Shep's user avatar
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52 votes
1 answer
7k views

Do large animals experience a meaningful delay when moving their most distant appendages?

According to the Physics Factbook, nerve impulses travel at speeds anywhere from 1 meter per second up to around 100 meters per second. Blue whales reach up to around 30 meters long. For a full-size ...
Tal's user avatar
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50 votes
2 answers
3k views

Help identifying leaf-like bone

I found two of these objects near a creek in Missouri. They feel like they are made out of bone but they do not look like any bone I have seen before. They also appear as though the could be some sort ...
Llew's user avatar
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48 votes
2 answers
22k views

Are there any animals that are both poisonous and venomous?

From my layman understanding, animals that inject venom into the bloodstream by biting or poking are venomous. And ones that harm you when you eat them are poisonous. Are there any animals (or plants)...
Stephen S's user avatar
  • 593
45 votes
2 answers
5k views

How do cockroaches resist the effects of ionizing radiation?

Cockroaches are very hardy insects. It is known that, among other things, they are able to withstand bursts of ionizing radiation that would kill a human being. The explanations of this observed ...
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42 votes
1 answer
17k views

Why do ants live so long?

I was surprised to learn that worker ants in some species live many years. I would have expected a lifespan of a few weeks or months (which is apparently the case for many species). What factors ...
yep's user avatar
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39 votes
1 answer
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Insect identification - Is this a bedbug?

This bug was found on a couch in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The couch, and the two beds in the room show no signs of other bugs. Is this a bed bug that I should worry about or something harmless? It ...
Nick Criswell's user avatar
39 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do homing pigeons fly straight home or follow certain "highways"?

Homing pigeons (Columba livia) have been prized for their navigational abilities for thousands of years. They’ve served as messengers during war, as a means of long-distance communication, and as ...
Katai's user avatar
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38 votes
5 answers
11k views

How does a baby deer stand the day it's born?

I know most creatures take time to learn some things. Birds take some time to fly. Human beings take some time walk or stand. But in the case of the deer species, it's different. It can stand the ...
user avatar
37 votes
3 answers
16k views

Why do parasites sometimes kill their hosts?

It's bothered me for a while now. I understand why a parasitoid would do this, as it only temporarily requires the host, and that not all parasites kill their hosts. There seems to be no evolutionary ...
James's user avatar
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36 votes
2 answers
24k views

Who are humans' closest relatives, after primates?

This question here addresses the controversy of whether humans are more closely related to bonobos or chimps. My question is - which group of animals are are closest relatives, beyond primates? Or ...
dwjohnston's user avatar
36 votes
1 answer
992 views

Does this recording sound like the pulses emitted by bats?

Out of curiosity, I recorded sounds in an area with lots of bats, hoping to be able to "hear" the bats communicating by lowering the ultrasound to a level down to the frequency which can be ...
Arseni Mourzenko's user avatar
34 votes
8 answers
10k views

Do "shooting" animals exist?

The well-known cartoon imagery of porcupines shooting their quills at opponents in a fight is just that: a silly cartoon concept that isn't real. But it makes me wonder, does that mechanism exist ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
34 votes
6 answers
7k views

Why didn't Escobar's hippos introduced in a single event die out due to inbreeding

Today I read a BBC Report about how Pablo Escobar had once imported 4 hippos (1 male, 3 female) into his estate in Colombia for his private zoo. After his downfall, while other species were shipped ...
RedBaron's user avatar
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34 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can any animals photosynthesize?

Plants and animals have the following distinct properties: Plants live from solar energy by photosynthesis, they use solar energy to make sugar and oxygen out of carbon dioxide, which gives them ...
Steven Roose's user avatar
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33 votes
2 answers
7k views

What do butterflies eat?

I found a beautiful scarce-swallowtail butterfly in my storeroom, but it was kind of frozen and couldn't fly away. So, I put it on my terrace in the sun. After a little bit, it flew a few meters away ...
Yves LaFayette's user avatar
31 votes
2 answers
14k views

Why is the Red Fox colored bright orange?

They're not poisonous or anything, so it can't be aposematism. As far as I know it doesn't come from diet like the flamingo. They're not apex predators, so they can't get away with it (like tigers), ...
NML's user avatar
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31 votes
1 answer
1k views

What strange jelly-like thing is shown in the photo?

What is shown in the pictures below? The photo was taken at the Australia's south coast (Queenscliff). The length of the thing is no longer than 50 cm... It doesn't move and has jelly-like consistency....
Capo Pavel Mestre's user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the trajectories of flying insects?

Many flying insects tend to have very jagged trajectories. For moves of a fruit fly looks like a random walk. Is there any research on the properties of trajectories (e.g. their fractal dimension or ...
Piotr Migdal's user avatar
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29 votes
1 answer
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I am trying to identify this bone I found on the beach at the Delaware Bay in Delaware. It is 2 1/2 inches wide and 1 1/2 tall

This bone was found at Big Stone beach on the Delaware bay, Delaware. It weighs only 19 grams
Robert Sperduto's user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
3k views

How long before robin no longer needs the nest on my porch?

A robin has made a nest on my porch. Unfortunately, the nest is on my weed wacker which I might want to use at some point this summer. Currently, there are two eggs in the nest. How long will it be ...
Imprisoned Rhesus's user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why do we grow so much hair on our heads compared to our bodies?

I've been wondering about head hair, facial hair in particular. Human males can grow very extensive beards should they choose to not shave - however you do not really see this in our chimpanzee ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 6,269
27 votes
5 answers
17k views

Why are there no known animals with an odd number of legs?

In my 6th grade science book it is said that there are no three legged animals, and that no animal with an odd number of limbs exists. I checked Wikipedia and could confirm this: There are no ...
user31782's user avatar
  • 613
27 votes
1 answer
5k views

What is this strange sea creature we found on the beach?

We found this on a beach in North Devon, UK. I've never seen anything like it. There's a yellowy-ball in the middle with 5 pointed shells attached to it, each of which seems to have a single "leg&...
SystemParadox's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is this spider with blue striped head?

I found this spider on the balcony of a Brisbane, Australia quarantine hotel. About 1.5cm. Anyone know what it is?
Kels's user avatar
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27 votes
1 answer
34k views

Does the octopus have an anus? What does it look like?

Octopuses are cephalopods, which have separate anal and oral openings. Indeed, descriptions of the cephalopod GI tract clearly depict an anal opening. However, I am very confused about how this ...
Superbest's user avatar
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27 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is this droplet of liquid that comes out of a mosquito?

I have been looking at pictures of different species of mosquito and several times I came across pictures where the mosquito seems to be secreting some kind of fluid. In the pictures one can clearly ...
user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
1k views

Do immortal organisms exist?

Do organisms exist that are able to live indefinitely if they are not killed by external factors? Under external factors I would consider things like predators and natural disaster but not illness by ...
Steven Roose's user avatar
  • 1,393
26 votes
3 answers
39k views

Are humans the only animal that requires "clean water"?

I've seen a number of animals - dogs, cats, squirrels, ducks and geese, etc drink from puddles, some of them were muddy, others had green flora growing under water. Same goes for lakes and rivers. A ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer
4k views

What kind of creature is this?

I saw this on Facebook today and have tried researching it myself, but I have had no luck.
Gareth Stanford's user avatar
25 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why are flies not scared when landing on a monitor with changing graphics?

I have been wondering why would insects in general, not be scared when important changes happen on your monitor where they have landed... If you move even just a finger, they are scared to death and ...
Alexis Wilke's user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
5k views

What exactly is this small puffer fish doing and how did it manage to accomplish such a feat?

I recently saw a video on youtube where it shows a puffer fish making intricate designs in the sand: OZZY MAN VIDEO The puffer fish made this design on the sand: What exactly is the puffer ...
user35897's user avatar
  • 1,260
24 votes
1 answer
5k views

How did the felines get to America?

I don't know if the felines got originated on America or on Africa, but I do know there are species of cat in America and Africa that belong to the same family and genus (Felidae & Panthera). How ...
Felipe Borges's user avatar
24 votes
1 answer
741 views

Are there dextral/sinistral higher animals? [duplicate]

For example, almost every dog I've met in my life (more than 20 subjects) uses their right paw touching one while asking for attention. Can it be used as a criterion for calling them dextral? If not, ...
www0z0k's user avatar
  • 343
24 votes
3 answers
26k views

Why don't rats have a gallbladder, unlike other rodents?

It has long been known that rats do not have a gallbladder, though other species including humans, monkeys, cows, reptiles, dogs and mice, all have a gallbladder. In this paper from almost 100 years ...
Vance L Albaugh's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do species other than humans have distinct daily feeding patterns?

I have a general interest in complex adaptive systems and I have found that nature and the organisms within it is a perfect natural case of a rich adaptive system with a lot of possibilities for ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 984
22 votes
3 answers
61k views

Do cows produce milk excessively?

Do cows produce more milk than it is required for their calves? It seems like cows are able to provide milk all the time (all year around). Is it so? Or do they, like other mammals, produce milk only ...
Maxim V. Pavlov's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
1k views

How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it?

How is the blood-volume of an organism measured without killing it? Note:The blood-volume of an organism is defined as the total volume of blood present inside that organism.
balaka's user avatar
  • 529
22 votes
3 answers
688 views

I found this strange tooth in Galveston, Texas. What does it belong to?

I found this on May 7, 2017, on Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston, Texas. What's not visible are the treelike rings inside the tooth and what looks like a tiny interior porous center. It looks like it ...
Kristen Miller's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is wombat scat (feces) shaped like cubes?

I've heard that wombat scat is cube shaped, but I don't understand how that can happen. Has anyone studied the phenomenon? What would the evolutionary pressure have been to cause this?
ASimonis's user avatar
  • 398
21 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is this crawling next to my house?

I just found this outside my house while walking the dog. I was thinking it's some kind of slug? It's been raining a lot lately and today, so maybe that has something to do with it being on the ...
ansarob's user avatar
  • 515
21 votes
3 answers
3k views

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause?

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause? Also, is there any difference between animals in captivity and animals in the wild as regards menopause? For example, even if menopause has been ...
tel's user avatar
  • 3,781
21 votes
3 answers
7k views

Do animals other than humans have different blood types?

Humans have the ABO and Rhesus blood typing systems. I have two questions about it: Why have we evolved these blood types? Do other animals have different blood types as well?
user14843's user avatar
  • 219
20 votes
3 answers
72k views

Why are turtles classified as reptiles and not amphibians?

I understand that turtles are reptiles because like all reptiles, they have scales on their body. But turtles (specifically sea turtles) live on both land and water, very much like amphibians. Also, ...
Irena's user avatar
  • 537
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do large animals often evolve into smaller animals?

There are several examples where the largest animals were killed off preferentially due to a major ecological shift: The KT extinction event The Holocene extinction, as well as the major megafauna ...
AlanSE's user avatar
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